The Holiday Season Guide to Budget Survival

Holiday Guide to Budget Survival
The Holiday Guide to Budget Survival During the Holidays
Budgeting is a necessity in life and with the holiday season a few weeks away now seems like the perfect time to start preparing with these 6 tips for budgeting success.
Budgeting is a necessity in life and with the holiday season a few weeks away now seems like the perfect time to start shopping. Like most people, every year I set an intention to budget but it never seems to go as planned. My family and friend circle is fairly large and I always end up spending major bucks and living frugally into the New Year. 
This time around I’ve set a goal to be more proactive in sticking to a budget and I’d like to share some of the tips that I’ve picked up.



 Ways to Manage Money During the Holidays

  • Create an OVERALL budget

The overall budget should include all holiday expenses including travel, gifts and even meal planning. This year I am working on a tight budget and have decided to only purchase the necessities and gifts for my parents, nieces & nephews.
 
My Overall Budget: $ 500.00
– Decorations $ 40.00
– Travel Expenses $ 80.00 (RoadTrip Home)
– Gift Wrap &  Supplies $ 30.00
– Gifts $ 350.00
  •  Track Everything You Spend

In order to be proactive in maintaining and sticking to a budget tracking everything that you spend needs to be a priority. I’ll be the first to admit that fairly often I “estimate” my spending without checking my bank account to confirm. Which inevitably leads to dipping into the emergency savings and a blow to the finances. 

SOLUTION:

We have access to countless budgeting programs and apps that make tracking expenses easy. Personally, I recommend mint.com due to it’s tools that allows you to not only see all transactions but it’s ability to create budgets and also set financial goals. If you’re not already utilizing this free program then you should definitely give it a try and you might like enough to use all year round.

  • Avoid Using Credit

    Credit cards, payday loans and all other forms of credit lines are especially tempting during the holiday season but keep in mind that these companies are in business to make money. During high school I worked at a major retail brand and our goal was to not only sell merchandise but to push consumers into opening new lines of store credit cards. Why? Because the more credit people had the more they likely they were to spend.

SOLUTION:

There are tons of strategies that help in avoiding credit lines but my favorite is shopping with the cash envelope system. By using cash only it makes you more accountable for expenses and there’s extra security to not go over-budget.

Now for those of us who simply cannot imagine avoiding credit lines then try to restrict the amount of credit being used to a minimum and also only use credit cards that offer perks like cashback.

  • Shop Online

    Shopping online is the best thing since Netflix streaming and it’s a broke girls survival tactic. Finding cheap deals and better prices are within a click of the mouse and it’s always nice avoiding the crowds. Maybe it’s the influence of my generation but I love shopping online and have several tips for those that are unsure of where to start:

Tips For Shopping Online

Always shop online with Ebates or Honey, both of these websites are amazing at checking for coupons and providing added discounts. 

Practice safe online shopping at all times. Identity fraud is on the rise and most people who became online victims unknowingly gave access to personal information. One of my favorite online rules is to never shop using public internet access i.e. library or the local coffee shop. It might seem safe but it’s an easy way for hackers to get everything they need.

Only shop online with websites that are familiar AND have a locked padlock (SSL) in the web browser. Limiting shopping to sites that are familiar can seem a restrictive at times but it adds to your peace of mind.

  • When Shopping In-Store Use Cashback Apps

    If shopping in-store is more your speed then make sure to keep those receipts! There are several apps that offer cashback from in-store purchases.  I highly recommend using either Ibotta, Checkout 51, Receipt Hog or all 3. Each one has their own requirements for earning cashback but in my experience every receipt can usually be uploaded to each app.

  • When Possible DIY

    I’ll be the first to admit that I am far from crafty but in another life I must have been a creative soul because navigating a sewing machine comes way too easily. If you’re low on funds then pull up Pinterest or Youtube and start researching DIY projects. It might be more time consuming but the genuine effort and thought put into it will make a gift more priceless.

Comment below and Share your tips for staying on budget!

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5 Ways to Budget During the Holidays



  • Beach Hut Cook

    Such great tips. I always shake my head at my bank balance after Christmas and ask myself how did that happen!!

  • I like the idea that you have a clear budget nad plan to stick to it, using credit cards is very tempting but in January you will get a big unmanageable bill so its best to avoid them.

  • Crystal Marie

    I agree: make a budget. I’m always horrible with that. I like to online shop so I don’t get distracted in store buying for myself 🙂

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